DEAR JOAN: My cat brought in a still-living small squirrel two weeks ago. It hid out in my stacking washer-dryer closet.
I tried to lure it out of its hiding spot so I could put it outside, but was unsuccessful. I am sure it is dead behind or inside my washer. I am detecting a sweet odor.
I called an appliance repair shop to see if they could come out to move the washer-dryer so I could get rid of the critter, but they could not help me. I asked my property management company if they could help me. Not.
My son-in-law was able to slightly move the unit and look behind it with his phone but could not see anything. I don’t know if the washer has an opening in the back but I think that may be where the poor thing is.
Maureen McCarthy, San Jose
DEAR MAUREEN: I have two suggestions. The first is to hire a handyman (or woman) to come out, move the washer-dryer unit and, if necessary, get rid of the squirrel, be it dead or alive.
Or contact a wildlife trapping service. They’ll be more than happy to come out and remove the animal for a fee.
However, if the squirrel wasn’t harmed and wasn’t a helpless baby, it probably found its own way out, courtesy of a gnawed hole in your dryer vent, dry wall or whatever was keeping it prisoner.
I’m encouraged that the odor you’re smelling is sweet — unless you were being sarcastic — because a dead animal in the house smells so bad that it will make you wish you were dead. You also would be seeing a lot of flies swarming the area
If the squirrel is alive and still trapped, you’ll need to act quickly to rescue it before it heads to the great beyond.
The best plan of action is to check out HomeAdvisor for a reputable jack- or jill-of-all-trades to free the squirrel, collect its remains or repair damage from an escape.
DEAR JOAN: I wish people would stop crow bashing.
If they would educate themselves about them, they would know just how interesting they are. I have a trained pair that greet me every morning for peanuts. They are so smart. I love them.
My neighbors hate me because I feed them, but all birds are great in my book!
Laurie Sparks, Bay Area
DEAR LAURIE: Crows are amazing birds, but their activities can certainly make them unwanted in some neighborhoods. I’m with you, however. If we can admire a bird’s plumage or be enthralled by a beautiful song, we should be equally impressed by a clever brain.
Speaking of such, are you sure you have a pair of trained crows — or do they have a trained human?
DEAR JOAN: I love the solo crow that comes into my yard. I feed the house finches and towhees on the patio, which sadly attracts the neighbor’s cat.
Yesterday around 6 a.m., the time I usually throw out seed, I heard the crow screaming and thought it was impatient for its breakfast. No, it was confronting the cat and it was beautiful to behold.
The cat backed down and fled. Immediately, all the finches dropped into the yard and the crow took off, its job done.
Ann Foster, Santa Rosa
DEAR ANN: Proof that not all crows are “bad,” unless you’re a cat.
Uh oh, is there a dead squirrel stuck behind my washer?